NewsPinellas County


Visitors retreat to the historic Don Cesar hotel during the pandemic

Don Cesar
Posted at 12:20 PM, Nov 11, 2021

ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. — The Legendary Pink Palace opened in 1928 and has seen its fair share of celebrity guests, from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

The hotel now sits on the National Register of Historic Places but inside it's keeping up with the times.

"As we go into our 94th year — it's just such an amazing place. The history is just so extraordinary. You know, when you look back to 1928 when this place opened, it has such an amazing and iconic look. It's been pink, it just is so eye-catching for the community. And people just remember it when you come here. You never forget the Don Cesar, it's very special," explained Todd Gehrke, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Don Cesar.

The Don Cesar took some time during COVID-19 to do some renovations but really never shut down.

"You know, I personally have worked in resorts for a long time now. And the one thing that's amazing about the resort business is that it truly is a recovery aspect for people to get back to normal. It is something where we have stayed fairly busy throughout the entire process. In the last 12 months, we've been extremely busy. People are certainly getting back to recreation and relaxation and truly enjoying themselves and the Don Cesar is the best place to do that," said Gehrke.

The Don started to go through some renovations in 2018. All 277 rooms here have been restored and renovations also include a new two-story pool bar.

You can read more about the history of the Don Cesar and the renovations by clicking here.